I was fortunate to be one of the speakers at 20x2 this year at SXSW Interactive. The question each of us had to answer in 2 minutes was "What Was The Last Thing You Remember?"
What was the last thing you remember?
The Act of Remembering is a half-filled promise, an open loop, the brass ring falling to the ground as the carosuel whirls by. You may remember every detail, but you cannot retrieve it or live it again. Memory gifts you every sense, except touch.
Collective Rememering, we remembering is memory you can touch visit, live with, and wrestle to understand. Momuments, cemeteries, labrynths and sidewalk graffiti all say “We were once here and through, stone, paint and time we have reconciled the past and the future in the silent present.
Remembering can be glue, a golden rope, a circle of held hands. The sharing of memory pull us tighter together than the sharing of money, place, even blood. “We have been here” is the hydrogen of history. We have been here is the same as we have shared this, how we begin any understanding of who we are.
Remembering can be curse. Hyperthemesia is a neurological disorder of not being able to forget anything. Sufferers describe it as being a loud party where every past version of yourself. And you can never go home.
Remembering can also be a mistake. Some things are best left as memories. We keep them slung lighty over our backs so we may live looking ahead.
What if the last thing you remember is that there is no last thing? If our memories stand not in a line but at an intersection, arriving, departing, lingering, then circling back again? If our pasts were a library not a well? If to forget and to remember both meant to live, richly?
I'm jumping off walls with excitement to announce that I'll be writing another book. "Brat Pack America" a look at the locations you know and love from 80s teen movies, will be published by the incredible people at Rare Bird Books in Los Angeles. I start working this month with a publication date in Fall 2015.
Here's the official announcement...
Kevin Smokler's BRAT PACK AMERICA, a backwards and forwards trip to the places made iconic by 80s teen movies; arcades, malls, neighborhoods and entire towns, these are the places we remember from the last great era of movies about teenagers and where they met up, worked, fell in love and broke each other's hearts, to Tyson Cornell at Rare Bird Books, for publication in February 2015, by Amy Rennert at The Amy Rennert Agency (World).
I'll expand this post with questions as they come in.
See you online and with any luck on the roads of Back Pack America then and now.